Recently, I moved back to Cincinnati. I grew up on the West Side, but moved away for several years, and it is so exciting to be back in my hometown! I feel like being in a “new” city gives me a fresh start. Having a fresh start means scheduling my overdue checkups. I am almost 30 years old, and I’ll be honest: I haven’t kept up with my doctors’ visits in my 20s. I know I can’t put it off any longer! I had a few questions about getting started, and Christian E. Gausvik, Jr., MD, a family medicine doctor with The Christ Hospital Physicians – Primary Care, was a big help!
Where to start?
Although I am from Cincinnati, I have not lived here in six years. Moving back after all that time, it feels like I’m living in a brand-new city. I have been so caught up with my new apartment, new job and catching up on family time I’ve missed out on. Add on the fact I need to find myself a doctor — it can be overwhelming! At the end of the day, I want my doctor to be someone who I feel comfortable around. I want to keep up with my appointments and know that I have someone who understands my needs.
Dr. Gausvik had some great pointers to get me in the right mindset. He recommended, “A great starting point is reaching out to family and friends or on social media to see who they see. Online reviews may be helpful, but keep in mind those are often polarized in both directions and may not fully represent a physician. The Christ Hospital offers online scheduling and has bio pages for all the physicians. Reading about their background is often a good starting point.”
Why should a young adult find a doctor?
I have NOT put my health first throughout my 20s. I fell victim to the “I’m too young for something bad to happen” mentality. Now that I’m approaching 30, I realize how important it is for me to start keeping up with my checkups.
Dr. Gausvik says it is very common for young adults to put off their yearly checkups. “There are a few good reasons to find a doctor early. First, having a doctor in place early is insurance so that when something unexpected comes up you have someone to turn to — someone who already knows you and someone who you already trust.
“Second, finding a doctor can be a process. You want to have time to find the right fit. Third, it helps avoid needing to use urgent care and retail clinics that are often more expensive and have much less continuity. Lastly, just like you take of your car for an oil change, it’s important to go for routine care to ensure you are up to date on all the latest tests, screenings and other things that will keep you healthy in the long run.”
The good news: It’s never too late to start making your health a priority! Early in the new year is the perfect starting point!
A handy checklist
Dr. Gausvik put together a simple appointment checklist for me (and YOU) to follow this year:
If you have any specific medical conditions, your doctor can lead you in the right direction for other appointments to keep up with. This is why your annual wellness visit is the most important, according to Dr. Gausvik!
I know I am the best version of myself when I am HEALTHY. I am not going to beat myself up for how long I’ve put off annual checkups. It’s a new year, and I’m starting with a clean slate… You can, too! The best time to get started is right now, so get started on that checklist!